Welcome to Week 2 of the Fall Balance Series, designed to bring you more work-life balance in 30-60 days.
It's a very personal decision about what balance is or should look like. We are all unique individuals.
It's helpful to measure things.
What gets measured gets managed.
Here's a tool to help you measure how much balance you have - or don't!
You've probably seen The Wheel of Life dozens of times. You may have even filled one out at a seminar you attended or when reading a book. Do it again!
This isn't a tool for you to do once, or even once a year, then set aside with a "that was nice."
The Wheel of Life is a great tool to use every single month to help you measure balance.
Every month as you're closing out the month, fill it out and measure where you are in the various areas of your life. It's the perfect visual representation of balance!
Pro Tip: Print 12 of these, one for every month! Keep them with your journal or daytimer to have handy at the close of each month.
What this will show you is obvious.
There are some categories of your life in which you will score very high. These are the areas you're doing well in. You probably spend a good deal of time working on this category. It gets a lot of your focus and attention. AND...it gets it because you're good at it. It's comfortable for you. You like the feeling of success. Who doesn't'? (Hey - you're probably an achiever if you're reading this!)
Then there are the areas that you've scored lower. Those are the things you're not as comfortable spending time on. They don't feel as good. They don't come as easy for you. These are not the normal pockets in life where you excel. Therefore, we tend to avoid them even more.
HELLO: You're looking for a balanced, full life!
The idea is to balance out this wheel. Once you fill out the Wheel you'll have a visual representation of where you need to spend some time this month. Do you need to set some goals in that area of your life? Do you need to put a couple of action items on your calendar? What could you put on autopilot?
Look at your Wheel scores and then act accordingly if you really want to bring balance into your life.
Some of you are already off to the races. You get that this is a great tool, you'll fill it out and get on with it. Great!
For others - it will throw you into a state of overwhelm. You were already busy with work, doing great maintaining your health & fitness, and thriving in your relationships. And you weren't even thinking about the fact that your finances were in the toilet! Wonderful - now you've been reminded of yet another thing you need to do. This is stressful.
Now it's been pointed out that there is an area of your life where you're not doing so well. OK - I DON'T want to leave you in a state of overwhelm.
If you really cannot possibly put one more thing on your plate right now (***for most of you that's not really true - more on that in a future post in this series***) then I want to offer you another possibility, another frame of reference.
Consider this: If you have scored yourself high in any category it's likely because that's how you thought it should look. It's how you wanted it to look. If you score yourself at an 8, 9, or 10 in physical body it's because this is what you expected it to look like. This holds true for any category.
If you scored yourself high in a category it's because your reality matches your expectation.
If you get thrown into a state of overwhelm when you see a low-scoring category consider changing your expectation for now. It doesn't mean you have to change it forever. It means being okay with where you are right now because you have deliberately decided to put your attention into other areas and that's where your priorities should be. This is a personal decision, no right or wrong answer.
You are the only one who can answer what your priorities should be.
If it throws you into overwhelm to think that you have to put two more things on your plate check in with yourself. Ask "Are my expectations of myself in this area of my life realistic?"
For example: If you're 22 years old and you expect to have $50 million in the bank by age 25, for most of us...that's not gonna happen! It's not a realistic goal if you have no idea, experience, etc. in creating that kind of money.
If your answer is "No, my expectations are not realistic" then lower your expectations, raise your score in that area and experience your stress level going down. This will help you find balance immediately and feel the peace most of us consider when we think of work-life balance in the first place.
WAIT! "Lower my expectations? I wouldn't dream of doing that!" (I know that's what my high performers are saying right now.) Fine! Step on the gas!
What does a "10" look like in each area on your Wheel of Life?
To rate something a "10" is to say this is the ultimate for me. This is what I'm expecting. Great - journal out what a "10" looks like in each area. If it's truly a realistic goal - take baby steps to achieving it. You can chunk it down.
What's one small step you can take this week to help me make progress? or in the next 30 days?
What would it take to bump the score up one notch? A 10% improvement is HUGE! You're on your way.
Again - score yourself on The Wheel of Life once a month so you have a measuring stick to help you figure out where you are and what your next steps need to be.
Goals can seem really big and scary. Chunk them down to small, bite-sized pieces.
This is part 2 of 5 in the Fall Balance Series. If you want to get the whole series at an accelerated pace and not miss an episode... GREAT! Do it HERE.